Not Not Fun

San Franciscan Peter Berend’s mystery mixtape unit, KWJAZ, flashed forth this debut self-titled slab of “post-plastic sublime decomposed luxury grooves” on cassette via his own rarified Brunch Groupe imprint early in 2011 and the 120 listeners lucky enough to grip a copy know who they are. It only took half a listen before we green-lit this tape-degraded gem for vinyl treatment and we are dee-lighted to present it thusly. Comprised of two side-long suites, “Once In Babylon” and the oddly monikered “Frighteous Wane,” KWJAZ nimbly ebbs and flows the proceedings through airy cloud-jazz passages (complete with smoky crystal vibes keys and narcotic hiss-hazed horn sections), bouncy weirdo dub-funk vignettes, stretched-out syrupy synth stews, and smooth faux-Steely D soft-rock abstractions, all without ever sounding schizo or style-hoppy. A major feat, and a real riddle of an LP that deepens and ripens with each spin. Hopefully you were savvy enough to catch him on his recent coast-to-coast summer tour with Swanox and Sudden Oak; if not, tune in to this. Black vinyl LPs (mastered at Dubplates in Berlin) in jackets with cosmic floral artwork by Austin Cho/Casey Grr. Edition of 700.

LA’s most downer erosion architects continue their 6-year-deep narco drip into psych-streaked bleak house, the latest saga of which is Too Down To Die, the band’s first full-length since March 2010’s Burners LP and the journey there-and-back was a cryptic and crooked crawl. The entirety of Side A is dominated by “Parallel Wanderer,” a lumbering kosmische bruiser triptych and consistent live staple that spills from astral ambient dread (bathed in crystal piano and trademark MGG modular synth textures) into a loner riff march before detonating into a wasted ghost-rock vacuum. The B features a suite of songs new and less-so, from the industrial headbanger “Universal Migration” to the nod-out braindead negative throb closer, “Afterburners.” Out of step and out on the ledge. Recorded at Green Machine in East LA and cut at Dubplates in Berlin. Black vinyl LPs in jackets with blasted orb artwork plus a photocopied insert. Edition of 600.


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